The Ticket: What’s the beef with Earls?

Wondering what all the fuss was about their decision to switch to Certified Humane beef? Next Monday, you can find out

May 12, 2016

By Max Fawcett

When Earls rolled out its new conscious sourcing program, it represented the culmination of years of hard work and tough decisions. “It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought,” CEO Mo Jessa said in an interview back in March. But as it turned out, the hard work was just getting started. Within hours of announcing its commitment to Certified Humane beef—and, by extension, shifting where it sourced its beef from a variety of ranches to a single farm in Kansas—it had drawn the ire of Alberta’s beef community. Things spun out of control from there, with politicians like Brad Wall, Jason Kenney, and Brian Jean professing their disappointment in the company for its decision. The Twitter outrage machine kicked into overdrive, meanwhile, with both a proposed boycott of Earls locations in Alberta and even an accusation by a then-member of the province’s Progressive Conservative executive that the decision by Earls meant it supported terrorism.

The company walked the decision back a bit in the days that followed by telling the public it would try to source as much beef from Alberta—beef that still met it new standard, mind you—as possible. But the entire conversation raised some interesting questions about how much we understand about the supply chain that feeds us every day—and whether customers are willing to put their money where their mouths are. Next Monday, chef Ryan Stone of the Earls Chef Collective and Dave “the meat guy” Bursey (Earls’s protein purchasing specialist) will have a chance to talk about some of the thinking that informed their company’s decision to switch to Certified Humane beef, along with the facts (and fictions) behind some of the labels we apply to our food today. What does raised without hormones actually mean? Why is it important? And what, exactly, is Alberta Beef?

It’s going to be lively, informative, and, given the presence of both canapés and wine, a feast for all of the senses. Get your tickets—while they’re still available, that is.

What: Talk With Your Mouth Full
When: Monday, May 16 | 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Loft at Earls Yaletown – 1095 Mainland Street

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